South Africa's onerous new visa regulations have had a negative impact on the tourism industry, ending an extended period of buoyant growth that had generated jobs and spurred the sluggish economy, according to observations from the tourism industry.
Following Minister Hanekom's conversation this morning with John Robbie, the home affairs ministry is standing by these regulations.
Says Minister Gigaba:
We have a duty to protect children - it's important to indicate that the protection of children cannot be put on par as making a profit and chasing tourism numbers. We need to prevent South Africa as being viewed by international traffickers as a possible destination.— Malusi Gigaba, Minister of Home Affairs
Listen to Minister Gigaba's interview below:
David Frost, CEO of the Southern African Tourism Services Association (SATSA), speaks to Stephen about this from Tourim industry perspective. Saying that he hopes sanity will prevail (and the laws done away with). He says that the Tourism industry was not consulted and a task team was not convened, as promised by Minister Gigaba.
Minister of Tourism, Derek Hanekom spoke to John Robbie this morning about the impact of the Visa regulations, introduced on the 1st June 2015, on the Tourism industry.
Minister Hanekom admitted that the introduction of the new Visa regulations have had a negative impact on the Tourism industry - with a dip in travel figures of up to 39% in the China market.
Minister Hanekom confirmed that there will be a review of the new Visa regulations and an inquiry into looking for an alternative way of dealing with child trafficking.
I know the Department of Home Affairs is doing it with good intent however, we need to find a better way of doing it. The impact is not only on tourism but on investment into the country as well.— Derek Hanekom, Minister of Tourism
Listen to the full conversation below:
In case you don't know the details of the Visa regulations yet, have a look at an infographic of the Visa regulations.